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Pope Francis and President Obama Speech Transcripts

Pope Francis stands with President Barack Obama during a state arrival ceremony Wednesday on the South Lawn of the White House. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Here's the rush CQ Newsmakers transcript of the speeches by President Barack Obama and Pope Francis on the South Lawn of the White House this morning : OBAMA: Good morning.  

(APPLAUSE)  

What a beautiful day the Lord has made.  

Holy Father, on behalf of Michelle and myself, welcome to the White House.  

(APPLAUSE)  

I should explain that our backyard is not typically this crowded. But the size and the spirit of today's gathering is just a small reflection of the deep devotion of some 70 million American Catholics.  

(APPLAUSE)  

It reflects as well the way your message of love and hope has inspired so many people across our nation and around the world.  

So, on behalf of the American people, it is my great honor and privilege to welcome you to the United States of America.  

(APPLAUSE)  

Today, we mark many firsts.  

Your Holiness, you have been celebrated as the first pope from the Americas.  

(APPLAUSE)  

This is your first visit to the United States.  

(APPLAUSE)  

And you are also the first pontiff to share an encyclical to a Twitter account.  

(APPLAUSE)  

Holy Father, your visit not only allows us in some small way to reciprocate the extraordinary hospitality that you extended to me at the Vatican last year, it also reveals how much all Americans from every background and every faith, value the role that the Catholic Church plays in strengthening America.  

(APPLAUSE) OBAMA: From my time working in impoverished neighborhoods with the Catholic Church in Chicago, to my travels as president, I have seen firsthand how every single day; Catholic communities, priests, nuns, laity, they are feeding the hungry, healing the sick, sheltering the homeless, educating our children, and fortifying the face that sustains so many.  

And what is true in America is true around the world. From the busy streets of Buenos Aires to the remote villages in Kenya; Catholic organizations serve the poor, minister the prisoners, build schools, build homes, operate orphanages and hospitals, and just as the church has stood with those struggling to break the chains of poverty, the church so often has given voice and hope to those seeking to break the chains of violence and oppression.  

And yet, I believe the excitement around your visit, Holy Father must attributed not only to your role as pope but to your unique qualities as a person.  

(APPLAUSE)  

And you humility, your embrace of simplicity, and the gentleness of your words, and the generosity of your spirit. We see a living example of Jesus' teachings. A leader's whose moral authority comes not just through words but also through deeds.  

(APPLAUSE)  

You call on all of us, Catholic and non-Catholic, to put the least of these at the center of our concerns. You remind us that in the eyes of god, our measure as individuals and our measure as a society is not determined by wealth or power or station or celebrity but how well we hew to Scripture's call to lift the poor and the marginalized.  

(APPLAUSE)  

To stand up for justice and against inequality and to ensure that every human being is able to live in dignity because we are all made in the image of God.  

(APPLAUSE)  

You remind us that the Lord's most powerful message is mercy. That means welcoming the stranger with empathy and a truly open heart.  

(APPLAUSE)  

From the refugee who flees war-torn lands to the immigrant who leaves home in search of a better life.  

(APPLAUSE)  

It means showing compassion and love for the marginalized and the outcast; and those who've suffered and those who've caused suffering and seek redemption. You remind us of the cost of war particularly on the powerless and defenseless; and urge us toward the imperative of peace.  

(APPLAUSE)  

Holy Father, we are grateful for you invaluable support of our new beginning with the Cuban people, which holds out a promise. (APPLAUSE) OBAMA: We thank you for your passionate voice against the deadly conflicts that ravage the lives of so many men, women and children; and your call for nation's to resist the sirens of war and resolve dispute through diplomacy. You remind us that people are only truly free when they can practice their faith freely.  

(APPLAUSE)  

Here in the United States, we cherish religious liberty. It was the basis for so much of what brought us together. And here in the United States, we cherish our religious liberty. But around the world, at this very moment, children of God, including Christians, are targeted and killed because of their faith, believers are prevented from gathering at their places of worship, and the faithful are imprisoned and churches are destroyed.  

So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and free from intimidation.  

(APPLAUSE)  

And, Holy Father, you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet, God's magnificent gift to us.  

(APPLAUSE)  

We support your call to all world leaders to support the communities most vulnerable to changing climates and to come together to preserve our precious world for future generations.  

(APPLAUSE)  

Your Holiness, in your words and deeds you set a profound moral example. And in these gentle but firm reminders of our obligations to God and one another, you are shaking as out of our complacency.  

All of us may at times experience discomfort when we contemplate the distance between how we lead our daily lives and what we know to be true, what we know to be right. I believe such discomfort is a blessing, for it points to something better.  

You shake our conscience from slumber. You call on us to rejoice in good news, and give us confidence that we can come together in humility and service and pursue a world that is more loving, more just and more free.  

Here at home and around the world, may our generation heed your call to never remain on the sidelines of this march of living hope.  

For that great gift of hope, we thank you and we welcome you with joy and gratitude to the United States of America.  

(APPLAUSE) FRANCIS: Good morning.  

(APPLAUSE)  

Mr. President, I am deeply grateful for your welcome in the name of all Americans. As the son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families. (APPLAUSE) FRANCIS: I look forward to these days of encounter and dialogue in which I hope to listen to and share many of the hopes and dreams of the American people. During my visit, I will have the honor of addressing Congress, where I hope as a brother of this country to offer words of encouragement to those who are to guide the nation's political future, in fidelity to its founding basis.  

I will also travel to Philadelphia for the meeting of families to celebrate and support the institutions of marriage and families in this critical moment in the history of our civilization.  

Mr. President, together we should never fear our citizens. American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to reject in every form of injustice and discrimination.  

(APPLAUSE)  

With countless other people of goodwill, they are likewise concerned in efforts to build a just and vastly ordered society, respecting the deepest concerns and the right to religious liberty.  

(APPLAUSE)  

Let freedom remains America's most precious possessions. And as my brothers in the United States have reminded us, all of us to be diligent precisely as good citizens to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.  

(APPLAUSE)  

Mr. President, I find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution.  

(APPLAUSE)  

Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem we can no longer be left to our future generations.  

(APPLAUSE)  

When it comes to the care of our common home we are living at a critical moment of history. We still have to make the change needed to bring about a sustainable and integrated development, for we know that things can change.  

(APPLAUSE)  

Such change demands in all our parts as serious and responsible recognition. Not only of the kind of the world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under our system which has overlooked them.  

FRANCIS: Our common goal has been barred of this road of the exclusions, which guides out to heaven and which today powerfully strikes our homes, our citizens, our societies.  

In use of the telling phrase of the Reverend Martin Luther King, "We can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note and now is the time to honor it."  

(APPLAUSE)  

We know by faith that the creator does not abandon us. He never forsakes his loving plan or repents for having created us.  

Humanity has the ability to all together in building our common home. As Christians inspired by this, we wish to commit ourselves to the conscious and responsible care of our common home.  

Mr. President, there were (ph) courts (ph) which were recently made to mend broken relationships and to open new cooperation within our human family represent positive steps that are along the path of reconciliation, justice and freedom. I would like all men and women of goodwill in this great nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate integral and conceivable (ph) models of development...  

(APPLAUSE)  

... so that our brothers and sisters everywhere may know the blessings of peace and prosperity which God wills for all of his children.  

Mr. President, once again, I thank you for your welcome. I look forward to these days in your country. God bless America.  

(APPLAUSE)  

CQ Transcriptions, Sept. 23, 2015 List of Speakers Source: CQ Transcriptions © 2015 CQ Roll Call All Rights Reserved.

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Topics: pope-francis